AFGHAN REFUGEE UPDATES

January 2023

Happy New Year from your Afghan family support team. The anniversary of the our Afghan family arrival is the perfect time to share a few highlights of our year with them. Sophia Said of The Interfaith Center reached out to Dr. Robbins to see if our church could help with one of the Afghan families who fled Afghanistan and were then on a military base in New Jersey. A committee was formed, led by Bev Villines, to discuss how the church could help. A committee of three has become a diverse committee of 25 volunteers and some of those are not members of PHUMC.

In the 12 months the family has been here, they have had dental and health evaluations, enrolled three boys in LRSD, and brought a new daughter into the family. Our team has provided transportation, house cleaning and repair, clothing, food, a baby shower, and a new house shower. The father is being taught driving as well as holding a fulltime job and receiving English tutoring 3-4 times a week. The mother is getting acquainted with American schools, household management, English tutoring 3 times a week and raising a new daughter. She is also involved in a Catholic Charities initiative that will give her social time with other Afghan women and entrepreneurial opportunities. The 3 boys are learning about American ways, English, and being treated to basketball lessons from some of our younger PH members. And they experienced their first Christmas season with holiday cookie making, introduction to Chutes and Ladders, a trip to the Museum of Discovery and a tree and presents sprinkled into their winter holiday.

Thank you to all members of our congregation who have given support, household items and money to support this wonderful family. And thank you to Second Baptist Downtown for agreeing to be the family’s church sponsor and provide the family with a wonderful house and other donations. We expect to be a primary support system for them for the next year and then hope they will have mastered English well enough to not need our constant help, though we will always be part of their lives and they are ours.

As always, please pray for this family and these diligent, loving members of the PH Afghan team. Donate to the Afghan Resettlement Fund at phumc.com/give or send a check to the church with the Refugee Resettlement Fund in the memo line. Contact Tish DePriest at tishdphafghans@gmail.com with any questions or if you’d like to get involved.

Week of November 21

As we look back on Thanksgiving 2022, The PHUMC Afghan Support Team wishes to express thanks.
First, and foremost, we are so grateful that ours and 11 other Afghan families have escaped injury, imprisonment and/or death to enjoy freedom in Little Rock, AR. This is a miracle we had no part in yet daily rejoice in helping them in this new chapter of their lives. We are thankful for these 6 people adjusting to a new climate, language, education system and culture with such grace and joy.

We rejoice in their ongoing acquisition of the English language, appreciation for basketball, first field trips, enjoyment of the zoo and all the other things that are helping them to feel at home in Arkansas.
And we celebrate the participation of the PHUMC congregation in this endeavor to help them make Little Rock their home. Thanks for your money, prayers, constancy, and support as this team of 26 surrounds this family with our love and care. There will be several more years before they are able to be just another Arkansas family and we need your continued encouragement to provide the Sadiqis with the support they will need. May they and we continue to exult the One who makes all this possible.

As always, please pray for this family and these diligent, loving members of the PH Afghan team. Donate to the Afghan Resettlement Fund at phumc.com/giveonline or send a check to the church with the Refugee Resettlement Fund in the memo line. Contact Tish DePriest at tishdphafghans@gmail.com with any questions or if you’d like to get involved.

Week of October 24

This week we’d like to thank two church volunteers for their work with our Afghan family.  The first is Crata Castleberry who is assisting our family with the paperwork and appointments required for the WIC program. The WIC program provides extra nutritional support for mothers and young children. Crata updated the paperwork for our family required with the recent birth of their daughter. With high food costs, programs like this are important to meeting the nutritional requirements to allow the family to flourish.

The second volunteer we’d like to recognize is Heather Schmiegelow who has arranged two play dates between the three boys in the family along with several 8th grade boys from the Episcopal Collegiate School. This has allowed these 8th grade boys to experience people from a different culture. For the three Afghan children this has served to provide pure rambunctious play and has introduced them to the sports of basketball and “American” football. The children have been able to practice their English but the most significant value was to add an activity that was pure fun and exercise.  Watching this play activity was also a joy to watch and provided great entertainment to several from our volunteer team.

As always, please pray for this family and these diligent, loving members of the PH Afghan team. Donate to the Afghan Resettlement Fund at phumc.com/giveonline or send a check to the church with the Refugee Resettlement Fund in the memo line. Contact Tish DePriest at tishdphafghans@gmail.com with any questions or if you’d like to get involved.

Week of October 17

Parents understand the need to check on your children’s progress in school and to see that all homework is completed. The parents of our family are no different but they need help with translation of notes to parents and need assistance with understanding progress reports. Our PHUMC volunteers are in the home frequently over the week to look at backpacks and to see where responses are needed. These same volunteers are also working with the two older boys on their English and reading skills. Over the next couple of weeks our volunteers will go with the parents for parent and teacher progress meetings for their three sons. We’ll be anxious to learn more about their studies, their social interactions and on how we can continue to support their growth. All of the children show a love of learning which makes our work with them a joy.

As always, please pray for this family and these diligent, loving members of the PH Afghan team. Donate to the Afghan Resettlement Fund at phumc.com/giveonline or send a check to the church with the Refugee Resettlement Fund in the memo line. Contact Tish DePriest at tishdphafghans@gmail.com with any questions or if you’d like to get involved.

Pages: 1 2